About a month before police cracked down on charity food handouts in Moore Square, the city’s parks director sought legal advice to end the practice she called “out of control,” according to email records released this week.
The emails were sent among city employees – and didn’t include the City Council – in the weeks before charities reported being threatened with arrest for feeding the homeless and indigent. The August crackdown brought national attention to the city, and the council has stopped police action until a long-term solution is reached in November. It’s been unclear how the incident came about, and several charities say they still have unanswered questions about who ordered the police action...
Carmen Zepp’s group, Human Beans Together, was one of the first charities told they couldn’t distribute food. Zepp says there was no major trash or crowding issue at Moore Square in July.
“It’s still a mystery to me, because there was nothing different in the month of July than any other month we were out there,” she said.
Sauer said many of the complaints included photos, some shown in a presentation to the City Council after the crackdown made news. But emails show many of the submitted photos were provided by Marbles Kids Museum in 2012, while others were taken more recently by Raleigh Police Lt. Kevin Carswell.